The Rolling Stones rocker admits he found it tough when the 'Starman' singer passed away in January 2016 as they were the same age.
He said: ''It especially affected me with Bowie because we were the same age - both 1947 models. David and I, we never saw a lot of each other, but when we did, we had a lot in common.
''With the cancer, he pulled the short straw. I knew he had a stroke as well. Since he hadn't been doing concerts or public appearances, I knew something fishy was going on with his health. I knew something was up. I was lucky, I got the long straw with the cancer.''
And the 70-year-old star - who was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year - believes his ''positive attitude'' helped him fight the disease.
He added: ''I just fought the cancer, that's my latest adventure. I smoked heavily for 50 years, and I thought, there's got to be some price to pay. I hadn't had a chest x-ray for 16 years, and when I did, sure enough, there was a big shadow there on my lung, a supernova. I thought, 'F***ing hell!'
''I definitely went in there with a positive attitude. I thought, right, I've got cancer, let's get it out. They went down my drainpipe, hosepipe ... what do they call it? Windpipe! There were all these tubes coming out of me. I felt like a puppet, I was all wired up like a marionette.''
And Ronnie would love to live many more years so he can see his youngest children - his twin daughters, Gracie and Alice, who are now 14 months - grow up.
He told The Guardian newspaper: ''With these little twin girls in my life, it just really makes you want to be around longer to watch them grow.
''Having that second chance, it's made me even more grateful to enjoy the twins, enjoy the kids I already have, enjoy Sally, enjoy going back on the road, all of it.''
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